First plastic solar collector receives the 2017 VERENA Award
VERBUND honours forward-looking technology for solarthermics
The 2017 VERBUND-E-Novation Award – VERENA for short – is being awarded this year to the green technology company Sunlumo from Upper Austria and the Institute for Polymeric Materials and Testing of Johannes Kepler University, Linz, for the project "One World Solar System". The solar system entirely from plastic will set completely new standards regarding affordability and accessibility in the area of solar heat. The VERENA Award is given by VERBUND, Austria's leading electricity company, as part of the National Prize for Innovation.
"The 'One World Solar System' by Sunlumo marks a great technological leap in the solar industry and is a wonderful example of what we need for the energy future: visions and courage coupled with technological expertise. This is exactly what VERENA is intended to do – to promote such projects as this and to call them to centre stage. The VERENA incentive award is just one measure among many with which we fulfil our societal function as a pacesetter for clean energy, more energy autonomy and a future worth living for the coming generations", as Wolfgang Anzengruber, VERBUND Chairman of the Board, emphasises. "This year VERBUND is celebrating 70 years of the energy future. From the first day onward we have been looking ahead and actively pushing developments forward that keep in pace with the energy future."
The Upper Austrian company Sunlumo, along with JKU, has developed the first solar collector made entirely of plastic. This solar collector is complemented by a compact, standardised plastic pump unit as well as corresponding plastic pipes and fittings to make up the One World Solar System. So for the first time, all the components of a solar installation are made of plastic and can be produced in large numbers. This solar system is a benchmark innovation. Thanks to its holistic product concept, from the materials to the production method, logistics and the value-added chain and on to an attractive license model, the goal of making solar heat more affordable and accessible than ever before has been achieved.
Two other companies were nominated for the VERENA prize:
wInterface GmbH, Graz, Styria, in cooperation with the TU Graz Institute of Computer Graphics and Vision, developed the project "winterface – The innovative high-tech facade system".
MECO-Erdwärme (geothermal energy) GmbH, in cooperation with OVUM Heiztechnik (heating technology) GmbH, Kirchbichl, Tyrol and the Innsbruck University Institute for Construction and Material Sciences, Department of Energy-Efficient Construction, were nominated for the project "Low-energy-house heat pump as a holistic heating and energy system".
The VERBUND-E-Novation Award (VERENA) was awarded this year for the 15th time by Austria's leading electricity company, VERBUND, for innovative projects from the fields of energy efficiency, energy management and smart grids, electromobility and electricity from renewable energy sources. VERENA is a motivating factor for industry and research to cooperate in implementing future-oriented measures. Starting in 2012, VERENA has been a special prize awarded as part of the National Innovation Award.
Pictured from left to right: DI Wolfgang Anzengruber, Chairman of the Board of Verbund AG; Ing. Robert Buchinger, CEO of Sunlumo Technology GmbH; Max Wesle, Sunlumo Technology GmbH; Associate Professor Dipl.-Ing Dr. mont. Gernot M. Wallner, Johannes Kepler University, Linz; Professor Dipl.-Ing Dr. mont. Reinhold W. Lang, Johannes Kepler University, Linz; Dr. Reinhold Mitterlehner, Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister of Economics, Science and Research